novak djokovic 1

Historic Wimbledon 2019 Finals: Djokovic Defeats Federer

Despite doing everything he could, it turned out Roger Federer has no match against Novak Djokovic with 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3).

The All England Club geared up for an epic match, but it only takes a few minutes before the crowd turned raucous. Nevertheless, Wimbledon 2019 men’s singles final between Djokovic and Federer was the longest singles final in its history. 

The clock finally stopped at 4 hours and 57 minutes. The fifth set alone lasted for more than 2 hours.

‘An incredible opportunity missed’

Djokovic was able to build consistency early on in the first set. Federer, on the other hand, made errors in the third set and tie break. Djokovic was able to save the two championship points, break back and take it to 12-12 tie-break. Djokovic also matched the two tie-breaks earlier.

In the end, Federer failed to convert the two match points he earned during the fifth set. He was a shot away from winning his ninth Wimbledon and 21st Grand Slam title. He would have been the oldest male tennis player to win a major professionally.

Rafael Nadal has 18 and Djokovic, 16 against Federer’s record of 20 singles titles. The final was the Serbian’s fifth Wimbledon title, winning four of the last five of his titles. Also, Federer lost his past five matches against Djokovic in Grand Slams. The last time he defeated the Serbian was at 2012 Wimbledon.

Djokovic said that winning against Federer is “quite unreal.” On the other hand, Federer has this to say: “I will try to forget about this.”

Down in the stats

Winning the finals, Djokovic was the underdog. Federer has 79% first-serve points won against Djokovic’s 74%. He also had 25 aces and 94 winners compared with the Serbian’s 10 and 54, respectively. Finally, the new Wimbledon champion has 204 total points won and 29 total games won against Federer’s 218 and 36.

Spectators at the Centre Court gave Djokovic’s every serve error a standing ovation. He had 52 unforced errors and nine double faults. The crowd even booed him upon questioning a Hawk-Eye decision ruled in Federer’s favour.

Djokovic said that the Wimbledon championship was “the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match” he was ever part of. Not losing faith in his capabilities, he mentioned, “If you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps. When you don’t, then you have to find it within.”

Federer became the first man in recent history who failed to win the singles final after having match points. It is also his second-longest singles final. The first one was against Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon finals. He lost the match too.

However, this is not the first time he only needed a point from victory. He experienced the same against Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon 2018 quarter-finals and Djokovic in 2011 US Open semifinals. 

The one single win he needed didn’t come. True to his words two days before the finals, tennis can “sometimes be brutal” since there is no such thing as draw in tennis. 

Federer also announced that he would skip Montreal and move on with playing in Cincinnati and New York.


paul pogba

Pogba ‘Sees His Future Elsewhere’ Despite the Push for Captaincy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he considers Paul Pogba, the Frenchman midfielder, as Mancher United’s next captain despite him being vocal about leaving this summer. Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, further along, is also keen on resolving his ward’s future who only wants “a new challenge somewhere else.’

Pogba is one of United’s key players this past season, providing an assist beginning the pre-season to a 2-0 victory against Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium in Australia. Pogba entered half-time while James Garner and Marcus Rashford scored the goals.

While he impressed, it was his first performance for the club since he publicly declared his desire to pursue either Juventus or Real Madrid last month. According to him, “there is no need to talk.”

While Real Madrid is equally vocal about its interest in buying him, both clubs are yet to put forward a formal bid. Scepticism grew whether either would bid for Pogba. Manchester United’s valuation of Pogba is more than £160 million.

Solskjaer, on the other hand, downplayed the idea and insisted that the United is under no pressure to sell. That is the complete opposite of Pogba’s actions as he tries to force his way out of Old Trafford before the transfer window closes on August 8.

United won’t allow Pogba to leave. The club also doubts that a club can meet the said valuation of the 26-year-old midfielder.

Amidst the brewing outgoing, Solskjaer said that the captaincy hasn’t been decided yet and promised to make an announcement when the season starts. The higher-ups still eye possibilities here and there, although the pre-season performance will form part of the assessment.

He also said that Ashley Young would wear the captain’s shirt until Manchester United decides on someone else. Young has worn the armband for a total of 30 games during the season. Antonio Valencia, the current club captain, hasn’t played since January 2.

Pogba regularly captained Manchester United, especially early in the 2018-19 season, despite clashing with Jose Mourinho who took vice-captain responsibilities. Solskjaer said about Pogba’s resuming of captaincy needs no explaining. 

Last season, Solskjaer claimed to build the team around Pogba. He would work on the basis of the midfielder remaining with Manchester United.

His only concern now is the growing influence of Pogba over the younger club players wherein he wasn’t setting an example to these players. His actions may undermine his authority as the manager since he is adamant about leaving the club as well.

Conflict within the dressing room is undeniable. The younger players are in awe of Pogba, but the more experienced players are growing weary and wary of the ‘unhealthy’ level of adoration. For the latter, Solskjaer must stop indulging the midfielder any further.

The boss also expressed dismay over the Frenchman’s decision to go public about him leaving United behind. Pogba announced on June during commercial commitment with Adidas.

Bryan Robson, a Manchester United legend, had also weighed in on the issue. He reminded Pogba, “You are contracted to Manchester United. You have to give everything for that club, that team and the fans.”

He also said that football players like him must take a good look at themselves in the mirror and decide what they want to happen with their football career. The agents can only guide them.